Says Chinese government is not living up to its promises
Contact Brian Hart or Becky Ogilvie, Sam Brownback, United States Senator - Kansas, 202-224-6521
WASHINGTON, July 29 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today condemned the Communist Chinese government's plans to spy on hotel guests during the Olympic Games.
"I am very disappointed that the Chinese government will not follow through on its promise to the International Olympic Committee to maintain an environment free of government censorship during the Games," said Brownback. "The Chinese government has put in place a system to spy on and gather information about every guest at hotels where Olympic visitors are staying. This means journalists, athletes' families and other visitors will be subjected to invasive intelligence gathering by the Chinese Public Security Bureau."
Prior to being chosen to host the Olympic Games, China pledged to provide open access to information, and to allow journalists to write freely, for at least the duration of the Games. However, in advance of the Olympics, foreign-owned hotels in China were ordered to install monitoring equipment on their network which will allow the Chinese Public Security Bureau to monitor the electronic information processed by thousands of international visitors staying in these hotels.
The Chinese government has demanded that these hotels allow the PSB to install a software program and hardware device and to strictly adhere to a series of regulations designed to assist the PSB to spy on the Internet activities of guests and collect records of their online activity.
Several international hotel chains have confirmed the existence of this order. Brownback's office has received a copy of text of the order from separate hotel companies, translated from the original Chinese. The text alludes to harsh punishment for failure to comply with the order.
Brownback continued, "The hotels have asked us to preserve their anonymity; in order to protect their safety, and in return for their courage in coming forward, I cannot divulge their identities. These hotels are justifiably outraged. On the other hand, these hotel chains have invested millions of dollars in their Chinese properties, and while they wish to find a way to reverse this order, if they are specifically identified, they could face severe retaliation by the Communist government."